According to Constant Contact, LinkedIn is getting more graphic. This is a good deal for LinkedIn users, and if you’ve stayed away from LinkedIn because it was boring and didn’t seem to offer the same bells and whistles that other social media sites were offering, now you can jump on the LinkedIn bandwagon.
What makes this exciting is you’ll be able to upload videos, images, photos, and other graphics to each section of your LinkedIn profile. That will make your profile a graphic depiction of your resume and life right off the bat.
Savvy Internet marketing experts know that visuals keep people returning to your website and are more likely to convert once they are there. It’s been that way for years. So this new development at LinkedIn plays right into the knowledge and information that professional online marketers have been operating on for a decade, at least.
LinkedIn has been used primarily as an online resume service. Now, your resume just got a lot more graphic. But I also think the added visuals will turn LinkedIn into more than just a place to post your resume.
What do you think? Is this good for LinkedIn? Is it good for LinkedIn users?
A new study by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth shows that Inc 500 companies used LinkedIn and blogging tools more in 2012 and Facebook and YouTube less. The companies also turned to Foursquare and Pinterest more often.
This is an interesting trend because the year before the companies were excited about Facebook.
Keep in mind that LinkedIn has become the business networking tool. Facebook is a great place to go if you are a B2C company or local, but if you cater to B2B businesses, then LinkedIn will be better for you, and more effective.
Of course, Inc 500 companies are not small businesses. But I think small business owners can learn from the big guys what is effective in online marketing.
Let’s start with blogging.
For a while, businesses turned away from blogging. They didn’t see the value. At that time, interest in social media was beginning to grow, so there was a natural exuberance that resulted from this new phenomenon. I think businesses have learned that social media isn’t quite the magical panacea they thought it was. In truth, social media can be effective, but it’s best used in conjunction with a well-maintained corporate blog.
The Truth About Social Media
So is social media worth it? It depends on what social media you are pursuing. Our rule of thumb is to choose the social media that is going to put you closer and more in touch with your targeted audience.
For some companies, that might be YouTube. For others, it could be Pinterest and LinkedIn.
If you go where your audience is rather than where all the other businesses are, then you’ll be much more effective in your online marketing.
Social media is changing – again. Of course, online marketing changes daily, but big changes occur in the online landscape about every 3-5 years. I won’t bother going into the history, but trust me when I say we’ve seen big changes happen every 3-5 years for the past 20 years. In some years we’ve seen multiple big changes shake things up.
In the last year a new social media site sprung up that caught a lot of people’s attention. It’s called Pinterest.
The concept is simple. Users “pin” images and have the opportunity to write a little commentary about the images they pin on their pinboards. Their pins link to the original content on another website. As it turns out, Pinterest users are more likely to make buying decisions than Facebook users. Who would have guessed (note the sarcasm)?
On another note, LinkedIn is perhaps the best business-to-business social networking tool online. A survey shows that 30% of B2Bs see LinkedIn as a top marketing priority. Another 20% consider their company blog to be essential. Again, any surprises there?
So what’s the takeaway?
If you have not put your business into the social media arena, now is the time. Scope out which social networks offer you the best opportunity for a positive return on investment. If your site is highly visual, Pinterest may very well hold the keys to your success. If you are a B2B, LinkedIn has a lot to offer.
Social media is not a panacea for every business ill, but it is a good way to meet new prospects and develop relationships for your future business.
What is the most popular social media website for business-to-business marketing? If you guessed Twitter, then you’d be right. But which social media site actually delivers more leads? According to Mediabistro, that would be LinkedIn.
The sad part is most small businesses aren’t using any kind of social media measurement tool, so how would they know where the majority of their leads are coming from? Twitter might be more popular, and easier to use. But it isn’t more lucrative. The ROI is actually coming from the social media site that specializes in B2B networking.
But LinkedIn doesn’t just beat Twitter for lead generation. It beats ALL social media websites. Even blogging.
While most small businesses are using social media and have a strategy for it, most of them also don’t use any kind of social media metrics. That brings to mind an age-old question: If you aren’t measuring it, how can you change it?
Businesses who do business with other businesses need to figure out how to measure their social media marketing campaigns. And it helps if you use the social networks that your target audience is using. If you are targeting consumers, that might be Facebook or Twitter. If you are targeting other businesses, it is more than likely LinkedIn.
One thing is for sure – we live in a social media age. But don’t just do it because your competition is doing it. Doing it because it is right for your business.
Social media sites have risen from nowhere to be the most popular sites online. Facebook is currently the most trafficked website online. It used to be Yahoo! Then Google.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine online. But it’s more of a social media website due to its viral video nature.
Twitter and Google+ are both in the top ten most trafficked sites online as well. And LinkedIn isn’t too far behind.
But the race isn’t over yet. All of the social media sites are working hard every day to improve themselves. The latest, Google+, is constantly improving and growing fast. It could become the second most trafficked website online in a matter of months. And Google is already suggesting that it will be the face of Google in the future. How that will affect its traffic numbers is anybody’s guess.
Who will ultimately win this war between social media websites is indeterminable. What is important for business owners is that you have menu options. You are not stuck using one social media site for your marketing and branding.
In fact, if you aren’t using multiple sites to establish a social media presence, then you aren’t getting the full benefit of social media marketing. The best approach to social media is to analyze the sites for their strengths and determine which ones make most sense for your business, niche, and situation.
It’s been just a couple of weeks since Google+ went public. Before then, you had to wait for a user to send you an invitation and then you entered a waiting list. Well, now the waiting list is gone and so are the invitations. But what kind of world has it left us?
In its first two weeks of being public, Google+ saw 2 million new users. Its servers slowed down and some users experienced a few minor glitches while using the service. That’s a good thing.
No outages. Nothing stratospheric in terms of hiccups. But it was noticeable.
Google+ still continues to grow at a steady and highly noticeable pace. Many users are anxiously waiting for business accounts to be introduced. That will add another level of competition between Facebook and Google+, a competitive landscape that is already pretty tough. But what about LinkedIn and Twitter?
At last count, Google was somewhere in the neighborhood of No. 5 or 7 in traffic for social media websites – right behind Twitter and LinkedIn. It won’t take much growth to pass them both.
I think we may be leaving the world where social marketers proclaimed Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter were the most important social services for businesses. In the future, you will likely hear that Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are the most useful services. Do you agree?
WebProNews reports that Google+ is beating LinkedIn for referral traffic on several websites. But it’s still trailing Twitter and Facebook.
That’s pretty astounding when you consider that Google+ has only been rolled out for a month or so and then as a limited beta test. Not everyone is using it yet.
When it finally goes public, what will the statistics be then?
One important point to consider was made by a commenter on the WebProNews article:
If the second trendline is significantly higher than the first then you have internal synergy and true growth in social media exposure. If the second trendline is equal to or lower than the first, then all you have is Google Plus siphoning off referral numbers from other sources.
That’s an important point and I think even the folks who conducted the initial study on this probably didn’t gather enough data to make a conclusion regarding that point. If Google+ only takes away referral numbers from other social networks, that’s not enough to say it’s a worth the effort. But if your Google+ traffic increases while your other social network traffic remains the same, then it could very well be a force to reckon with.
Then, of course, there’s the increase in spam that going public will likely draw. That will be a force as well. Bottom line: The jury’s still out on Google+.
A new report based on a survey of social network users says that LinkedIn is the most important social network for 59% of the people who use them. That’s LinkedIn, not Facebook or Twitter. That might seem unusual considering that Facebook and Twitter get most of the hype.
But, frankly, I think it makes a lot of sense.
Facebook is still a place for personal networking for a lot of people. It’s where they go to connect with friends and family. Yes, they also can set up a page for their business and network with people to attract new business. But being that Facebook is a personal space for a lot of people, and it is the most trafficked social network in cyberspace, the threshold for a high ROI is rather low. In other words, there are challenges in turning a Facebook networking plan into a profit. But it’s not impossible.
Twitter has become much more of a micropublishing platform. And it hasn’t quite caught on with the mainstream just yet.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a business social networking tool. People who use it use it for business. Period. So it makes sense that it would deliver the highest ROI. What do you think?
In social media terms, your signal-to-noise ratio is the amount of valuable content that you provide versus how much idle chatter you engage in. Is your noise level too high? If so, then you can increase your social reputation by lowering the noise and improving your signal-to-noise ratio.
The question for anyone interested in improving their signal-to-noise ratio is, How? How do you go about this?
It might seem like a no-brainer, but there are two ways to improve your signal-to-noise ratio. You can increase the amount of social media content you produce focusing on value; or you can focus your efforts instead on reducing the noise. But to do either, you must first be able to measure your signal to noise. How do you do that?
Panorama has a list of 100 social media monitoring tools, but most of them have to do with measuring what other people are saying about you. What you need is some measure of what you are saying through social media and how much of it is valuable. This will tell you whether your signal-to-noise ratio is high or low.
Klout is one social media monitoring service that measures your influence across Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, the three largest social networks. But it does have its limitations. The first limitation is that your influence is measured on the basis of your interaction with your friends on those networks, but if your friends aren’t using Klout, then it won’t be accurate. You can invite your friends to join the service, which is free, and I recommend that you do.
But to truly measure your signal-to-noise ratio, look at how much influence you have on the social networks and compare it to the number of your followers who interact with you. Do you have 1,000 Twitter followers with only 15 of them who retweet your messages or respond to them? If so, it could be because the bulk of your followers don’t see value in your messages. What can you do to change that?
However you measure your signal-to-noise ratio, the important thing is that you increase your signal and decrease the noise. Are you doing that? How?
Spying on your competition isn’t as hard as you can imagine. There are open places on the web where your competition hangs out and where they publicly disclose what they are doing with their products and marketing initiatives. Here are 5 easy places to spy on your competition.
- LinkedIn – There are so many companies actively using LinkedIn these days that it’s worth a look just to see if your competition is there. If so, follow them. Read their questions and their answers and see who their friends are. You’ll be able to tell a lot just by that alone.
- Facebook – It’s hard to find a company without a Facebook presence these days. Find your competition, follow their fan page and see what they are putting out on their updates page.
- Twitter – Twitter is one of the easiest places to spy on the competition. Find them and follow them. Everything they say will be visible to you. Also, subscribe to alerts that let you know when your competition is mentioned on Twitter.
- Quora – Quora is a fairly new website that is growing in popularity. All kinds of people go there to ask and to answer questions of one sort or another. If your competition is on Quora then you can follow them and see what they are asking, and what they are saying in their answers. What’s more, you can do much of it anonymously.
- Company Blog – Finally, subscribe to the RSS feed of your competition’s company blog. You’ll know as much as you need to know.
Spying on the competition isn’t hard. You can do it online in just a few minutes a day and at relatively low cost.
Social media marketing has come of age and today it is nearly impossible to market yourself online without doing some social media marketing. The following 5 social media strategies are specific strategies that you would be foolhardy to ignore.
- Facebook – We might as well start with the largest social media site on the Web. Facebook is a tough animal because spamming is strongly discouraged and Facebook has internal controls to get rid of spammers. However, it can be very effective if done the right way and it is the most trafficked website online so you can’t ignore it.
- Twitter – Twitter is a great adjunct to Facebook. Some people think it’s an either/or equation. It’s not; it’s both/and. Your audiences on Facebook and Twitter will be different audiences. Chase them both; be effective and you will love the results.
- Video Marketing – I’m broadening this one to include online video marketing in various forms even though you know we’re talking about YouTube. But don’t limit yourself to YouTube. With Twitter and Facebook you can design special strategies that fit those websites on their own, but with video marketing you can design a strategy that works for YouTube and other online video sharing sites too.
- LinkedIn – There is hardly a business that can’t benefit from LinkedIn. It’s a special social media site designed for business interactions. Ignore it at your own peril.
- Blogging – No discussion of social media is complete with a discussion on blogging. If you don’t have your own blog then you need to get one. You especially need one if you plan to use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn. Blogging is the beginning of social media marketing.